01 Oct Twitter : Google Partnership Re-Visited
In May, we echoed the announcement of Google and Twitter’s latest partnership deal to once again include Twitter as a part of Google’s search results. The deal is a resurgence of their partnership that ended in 2011 to provide real-time tweets within Google search results.
So why have these colossal internet-based companies decided on a U-turn we wonder?
Well 4 years later on and with the benefit of our good old friend Mr Hindsight we are well equipped to answer such questions.
Let’s go back to 2011, June specifically, to the launch of Google’s own social networking service Google+. Many novices and experts alike felt Google would develop a winning social media platform of their own. Individuals touting Google’s potential success in the social media market had very plausible reasoning to do so as who would question Google’s ability to develop a social media platform to rival the biggest in the market; Facebook and Twitter.
Furthermore if these predictions were correct, Google’s need for a partnership with Twitter would be redundant. If anything it could hamper their success. Google allowed their contract with Twitter to expire on July 2nd 2011 and the break-up was amicable as both companies went their separate ways peacefully, hinting at the possibility of collaborating together once again in the future.
Fast-forward to now, four years down the line and we now know that Google+, Google’s social media network, has made inconsequential ripples in a market that Twitter and Facebook have been splashing about in for years. A great example of the splashes or tsunami in this case I am referring to is the recent post by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg that revealed Facebook had over 1 billion unique users visit Facebook in a single day. That means 1 in 7 people across the whole world used Facebook within 24hours!
On the other hand, social media success was not limited to Facebook and Twitter during those four years. There has been a very successful batch of uprising social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest that have seen waves upon waves of new users join in the past few years. These companies have not battled directly with Facebook and Twitter’s services as Google+ sought to. Instead these companies have grown hugely successful by offering services that differ or specialise to those available on Facebook and Twitter.
Okay, so Google+ failed where others succeeded and we’ve got Twitter back in our search results but what does this mean for the user?
The result of this partnership means Google will incorporate Tweets into their search results.
In May, Google began presenting Twitter feeds within mobile search results in the US and this feature has now been introduced into our mobile search results in the UK. Google plan to expand this roll out across all mobile devices around the World. With the desktop web version having already been rolled out in the US and just recently in the UK. It is expected that the desktop roll out will be approached in the same manner as on mobile devices, gradually including more and more countries around the world.
To enable you to greater understand the implications of Twitter within Google search results we have taken screenshots of the search results we are provided with when we searched for ‘England Rugby’ on a mobile:
As is shown in the above screenshot, users are given a wealth of potential channels to consume their chosen topic, in our case England rugby. Google have provided the user with the ability to choose via which channel they wish to consume their chosen topic and their options include Twitter. Users are firstly presented with latest news via the News Feed presented at the top of SERPs. Secondly, Google provide a link to the official site of England rugby.
Then we are presented with England Rugby’s official Twitter feed which users can scroll across to view the latest tweets by their chosen interest.
Furthermore, we are provided with an information box regarding the England national rugby union team with links to more information via Wikipedia as well as providing England rugby’s official social media profiles to users. The information box is then followed by links to sites that have now become synonymous with Google, these links offer content regarding ‘England rugby’ that Google sees as most appropriate.
When we searched for the same term ‘England rugby’ via desktop, we can show that Google have now included Twitter into our search results:
Very much alike the mobile SERPs, we are initially presented with news results about our chosen searched topic followed by a link to the official England rugby website. Thirdly, we are presented with the official Twitter feed for our chosen subject, which allows users to scroll across and explore more of their chosen topics recent tweets.
In comparison to the mobile results we were presented with earlier in this piece, this search via desktop provides the option to open the information box that we are automatically given within search results for mobile. By clicking the link in the box titled ‘See results about’, the page quickly reloads with an information box that accompanies the SERPs and provides basic information regarding England rugby, links to the England national rugby union team Wikipedia page and social media profiles. Shown below:
Whilst this resurgence of the partnership that ended in 2011 will not change the World or in particular the way we use Twitter or Google, it will enable search results to hold a greater wealth of information about individuals or companies than before for users. Which should culminate in improving user experience. We believe improving user experience is the main motive behind the U-turn which has seen these two internet giants unite, together again for the better.